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Timothy Dexter

Dexter, Timothy, 1747–1806, American merchant and eccentric, b. Malden, Mass. He gained a fortune from the American Revolution by buying up depreciated certificates of indebtedness that were afterward reclaimed at full value. He also gained money by shrewd mercantile transactions. He was styled "Lord Timothy Dexter" by his fellows, and he accepted the title. Dexter wrote A Pickle for the Knowing Ones (1802), remarkable for the totally individual spelling and the absence of all punctuation. In the second edition he added a page of "stops" so that readers could "peper and salt it as they please."

See biographies by J. P. Marquand (1925 and 1960).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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